FIRST IMPRESSIONS: As a person who takes reusable bags to the grocery store and cuts the grass with a push-reel mower, I wanted to like the Prius. And, at 48 miles a gallon on the highway, the third-generation, 2010 Prius was ideal for my lengthy commute. It should have been a perfect fit. The only problem was, I hated driving it.
BOTTOM LINE: The trendy, eco-friendly Toyota sucks the fun out of driving. Why anyone would vie for a spot on the Prius waiting list is beyond me. The power-boost button made things marginally interesting but, in the end, it defeated the purpose of driving a Prius by wasting extra gas. The car beeps incessantly when placed in reverse, which is fine for a forklift, but annoying when backing out in a regular vehicle (especially when there’s nothing behind you). The outside of the Prius isn’t bad—there’s lots of chrome and plenty of windows—but the interior is a vast wasteland of gray plastic dashboard and oddly placed buttons.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: With a sticker price that’s north of $30,000, I’d rather spend my cash on a scooter and a DART pass. The car just doesn’t feel right. Case in point: I drove a friend to lunch in the Prius, and her reception on our return wasn’t any kinder. “Thanks for the ride,” she said. “But next time, can we take my car?”